CHICAGO — Emergency rooms are the place many sufferers are first launched to highly effective opioid painkillers, however what if medical doctors supplied over-the-counter capsules as a substitute? A brand new research examined that strategy on sufferers with damaged bones and sprains and located ache relievers offered as Tylenol and Motrin labored in addition to opioids at lowering extreme ache.
The outcomes problem frequent ER apply for treating short-term, extreme ache and will immediate modifications that might assist forestall new sufferers from changing into addicted.
The research has limitations: It solely checked out short-term ache aid within the emergency room and researchers didn’t consider how sufferers managed their ache after leaving the hospital.
However given the scope of the U.S. opioid epidemic — greater than 2 million People are hooked on opioid painkillers or heroin — specialists say any dent in the issue may very well be significant.
Outcomes have been revealed Tuesday within the Journal of the American Medical Affiliation.
Lengthy-term opioid use typically begins with a prescription painkiller for short-term ache, and use of those medication within the ER has risen in recent times. Earlier research have proven opioids have been prescribed in practically one-third of ER visits and about 1 out of 5 ER sufferers are despatched dwelling with opioid prescriptions.
“Stopping new sufferers from changing into hooked on opioids might have a larger impact on the opioid epidemic than offering sustained therapy to sufferers already addicted,” Dr. Demetrios Kyriacou, an emergency medication specialist at Northwestern College, wrote in an accompanying editorial.
The research concerned 411 adults handled in two emergency rooms at Montefiore Medical Heart in New York Metropolis. Their accidents included leg and arm fractures or sprains. All got acetaminophen, the primary ingredient in Tylenol, plus both ibuprofen, the primary ingredient in Motrin, or one in all three opioids: oxycodone, hydrocodone or codeine. They got customary doses and weren’t advised which drug combo they obtained.
Sufferers rated their ache ranges earlier than taking the medication and two hours later. On common, ache scores dropped from virtually 9 on a 10-point scale to about 5, with negligible variations between the teams.
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen have an effect on totally different ache receptors within the physique so utilizing the 2 medication collectively could also be particularly potent, mentioned Dr. Andrew Chang, an emergency medication professor at Albany Medical Faculty in upstate New York, who led the research.
He famous capsule combining ibuprofen and acetaminophen is obtainable in different nations; his findings echo analysis from Canada and Australia testing that capsule towards opioids for ache aid.